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UNIT II Trade Unionism Trade unionism is a worldwide movement and the highly strategic position occupied by trade unions

in modern industrial society has been widely recognized. In most cases, employees’ associations or trade unions seem to have emerged as ‘protest movements’ reaching against the working relationships and condition created by industrialization. When industrialization begins, organization members have to be generally recruited from the ranks of former agricultural labour and artisans who have to adapt themselves to the changed conditions of industrial employment. They have to be provided with new types of economic security – wages / salaries, benefits and services etc. Often they may have to learn to live together in newly developing industrial townships and cities and also to adopt themselves to new working conditions and new pattern of work-rules imposing discipline and setting pace of work to which they are unfamiliar. Their old habits and traditions do not suffice to guide them in their daily work-behaviour and in consequence they may be disorganized and frustrated. Thus the growth of modern industrial organizations involving the employment of a large number of workers / employees in new type of working conditions and environment makes them helpless in bargaining individually for their terms of employment. As observed by Frank Tannenbaum, “The emergence of trade unionism lies in the Industrial Revolution which disrupted the older way of life and created a new society forged by the shop, the factory, the mine and the industry. Trade Union According to Webb's; A trade union is “a continuous association of wage-earners for the purpose of maintaining or improving the condition of their working lives”. A trade union as “a continuous association of wage-earners or salaried employees for maintaining the conditions of their working lives and ensuring them a better and healthier status in industry as well as in the society”. ORIGIN OF TRADE UNIONS Union oriented, mainly in Great Britain the U.S.A in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, as, associations of workers using the same skill. There is no connection between trade unions and medieval craft guilds, for the latter were composed of master craftsmen who owned capital and often employer several workers. The early unions were formed a partly as social clubs but soon became increasingly concerned with improving wages and working conditions, primarily by the device of collective bargaining. Progressing from trade to trade within the same city or area, the clubs formed local associations which, because they carried on their main activities on a purely local level, were almost self-sufficient. With industrial development, however, local associations sooner or later followed the expansion of production beyond the local market and developed into national unions of the same trade. These in turn formed national union federations.

members. The panchayats prescribed the code of conduct which was rigidly observed by its members. Its non-observance resulted in expulsion from the community. Trade unions, as understood today, however originated in the first quarter of the present century, although the groundwork was laid during the last quarter of the 19th century. In Mumbai, as early as in 1975, a movement was started by reformers under the leadership of Sorabji Shapurju. They protested against the appealing conditions of the factory workers and appealed for introduction of adequate legislation to prevent them. The credit of laying the foundation of the organized labour movement in India is at time accorded to Mr. N.M. Lokhande, a factory worker himself. An agitation was organized by him a 19884 in Mumbai. This resulted in certain amenities being extended to the mill workers which led to the organization of the Mumbai Milhands Association. Actually a real organized labour movement in India started at the end of the First World War. Rising prices, without a corresponding increase in wages, despite the employers making huge profits, led to a new awakening. Many trade unions were formed throughout India. There were a number of strikes during 1919 to 1922. To this was added the influence of the Russian Revolution, the establishment of the ILO (International Labour Organisation) and the All-India Trade Union Congress. The speeded up the pace of the trade union movement. Following the Second World War, there was a spiralling of prices. The workers once again became restive. This further indirectly strengthened the movement in India. The labour world in India is dominated mainly by four central organization of labour. These unions are, in fact, federations of affiliated union – units which function on regional, local and craft bases. These are: 1. All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC): An important event in the history of trade union movement in India was the organization of the All-India Trade Union Congress in 1920. Mr. Nehru took a prominent part in the organization of this Congress. It followed the pattern of the trade union s in the United Kingdom. The effort toward unified action in the matter of labour was, however, short-lived and soon it came under the domination of the Communists and Radicals. Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC): In May, the Indian National Trade Union Congress was organized by the Congress party on its labour front. This was formed with the help of the Hindustan Mazdoor Sewak Sangh which consisted of those who believed in Gandhian methods and had left the AITUC in 1937 under of leadership of Mr. M.N. Roy. The INTUC received the blessings of the top congress leaders at the Centre like Mr. Nehru and Sardar Patel. Hind Mazdoor Sangha (HMS) : The socialists in the Congress disapproved not only the Communist run AITUC but also the Congress-sponsored INTUC, particularly because it advocated compulsory arbitration as a method of resolving industrial disputes. For sometime the activities of socialist leaders were coordinated by the Hind Mazdoor Panchayat. Subsequently when they left the Congress, they met in Kolkatta in December, 1948 and a new federation by the Hind Mazdoor domination by employers, Government and political parties. United Trade Union Congress (UTUC): The dissidents from the Socialist Leaders’ Congerence held at Kolkatta

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The Trade Union Movement in India The trade union movement’s origin in a sense can be traced back to very early date to the time when villages had panchayats and guilds for settling disputes between the masters and their 4.

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in December, 1948 proceeded to establish yet another federation of trade unions in April-May 1949 under the name of United Trade Union Congress. The UTUS is more radical than HMS but less revolutionary in its objectives and policies than AITUC.

Need for Trade Union • One of the main reasons of workers joining a trade union been their belief to get wages increased and maintained at a reasonable standard through collective action and their realization that individual bargaining was utterly useless for this purpose. Since the employee, as an individual, feels specially weak, he prefers to join an organization that my afford him an opportunity to join others for the achievement of those objectives that he considers as socially desirable. The employees may join the unions to ensure a just and fair dealing by management. Through collective strength, they restrain the management from taking any such action which may be irrational, illogical, discriminatory or contrary to their general interests. Another reason of employees joining some union may be the broader realization on their part that unions fulfill the important need for adequate machinery for proper maintenance of labour-management relations. Employees may join the unions because of their belief that it is an effective way to secure adequate protection form various types of hazards and income insecurity such as accident injury, illness, unemployment etc. The employees may join the unions because of their feeling that this would enable them to communicate their views, ideas, feelings and frustrations to the management effectively. Individuals may join the unions in the hope of finding a job through their influence in the company management.

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Functions of Trade Unions • Functions relating to members • Functions relating to organization • Functions relating to the union; and • Functions relating to the society. Functions relating to trade union members 1. 2. 3. 4. To safeguard workers against all sorts of exploitation by the employers, by union leaders and by political parties. To protect workers from the atrocities and unfair practices of the management. To ensure healthy, safe and conducive working conditions, and adequate conditions of work. To exert pressure for enhancement of rewards associated with the work only after making a realistic assessment of its practical implications. To ensure a desirable standard to living by providing various types of social service – health, housing, educational, recreational, cooperative, etc. and by widening and consolidating the social security measures.

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To guarantee a fair and square deal and social security measures. 7. To remove the dissatisfaction and redress the grievances and complaints of workers. 8. To encourage worker’s participation in the management of industrial organization and trade union, and to foster labour-management cooperation. 9. To make the workers conscious of their rights and duties. 10. To impress upon works the need to exercise restraint in the use of rights and to enforce them after realistically ascertaining their practical implications. 11. To stress the significance of settling disputes through negotiation, joint consultation and voluntary arbitration. 12. The raise the status of trade union members in the industrial organization and in the society at large. Functions relating to industrial organization 1. To highlight industrial organization as a joint enterprise between workers and management and to promote identity of interests. 2. To increase production quantitatively and qualitatively, by laying down the norms or production and ensuring their adequate observance. 3. To help in the maintenance of discipline. 4. To create opportunities for worker’s participation in management and to strengthen labour-management cooperation. 5. To help in the removal of dissatisfaction and redressal of grievances and complaints. 6. To promote cordial and amicable relations between the workers and management by settling disputes through negotiation, joint consultation and voluntary arbitration, and by avoiding litigation. 7. To create favourable opinion of the management towards trade unions and improve their status in industrial organization. 8. To exert pressure on the employer to enforce legislative provision beneficial to the workers, to share the profits equitably, and to keep away from various types of unfair labour practices. 9. To facilitate communication with the management. 10. To impress upon the management the need to adopt reformative and not punitive, approach towards workers’ faults. Functions relating to trade unions organization 1. To formulate policies and plans consistent with those of the industrial organization and society at large. 2. To improve financial position by fixing higher subscription, by realizing the union dues and by organizing special fund-raising campaigns. 3. To preserve and strengthen trade union democracy. 4. To train members to assume leadership position. 5. To improve the network of communication between trade union and its members. 6. To curb inter-union rivalry and thereby help in the creating of unified trade union movement. 7. To resolve the problem of factionalism and promote unity and solidarity within the union. 8. To eradicate casteism, regionalism and linguism within the trade union movement. 9. To keep away from unfair labour practices. 10. To save the union organization from the exploitation by vested interests –personal and political. 11. To continuously review the relevance of union objectives in the context of social change, and to change them accordingly. 12. To prepare and maintain the necessary records.

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13. To manage the trade union organization on scientific lines. 14. To publicise the trade union objectives and functions, to know people’s reaction towards them, and to make necessary modifications. Functions relating to society To render all sorts of constructive cooperation in the formulation and implementation of plans and policies relating to national development. 2. To actively participate in the development of programmes of national development, e.g., family planning, afforestation, national integration, etc. 3. To launch special campaigns against the social evils of corporation, nepotism, communalism, casteism, regionalism, price rise, hoarding, black marketing, smuggling, sex, inequality, dowry, untouchability, illiteracy, dirt and disease. 4. To create public opinion favourable to government’s policies and plans, and to mobilize people’s participation for their effective implementation. 5. To create public opinion favourable to trade unions and thereby to raise their status. 6. To exert pressure, after realistically ascertaining its practical implications, on the government to enact legislation conducive to the development of trade unions and their members. Problems of Trade Union The following are some of the most important problems of the trade unions in India: 1. Multiplicity of Trade Unions and Inter-union Rivalry 2. Small Size of Unions 3. Financial Weakness 4. Leadership Issues 5. Politicalisation of the Unions 6. Problems of Recognition of Trade Unions UNIONS IN THE ERA OF LIBRALIZATION Before Liberalization • State sponsored and state mediated development • Protected domestic market • Budgetary and directed institutional resource allocation • Subsidies and administered price regime • Welfare state active in labour market • Systematic de-casualization of jobs • Largely government-funded social security and welfare programmes for a few • Stable governing structure and policy regime • Stable, though obsolete, labour intensive technologies • Dominant status of manufacturing After Liberalization Market led and private enterprise dominated • Competitive market • Competitive, capital market-led resource allocation • Rational pricing, including user changes • Labour-neutral and investment friendly state policies • Fast re-casualization and contractualization of jobs • Crisis of sustainability of social security welfare programmes and pressure for security measures for all. • Crisis of governance and fear of political and economic instability • Micro-electronics-led new generation capital and skill intensive technologies • Threat of industrialization and rapid growth of service sector 1.

TRADE UNION MOVEMENT: Before Liberalization: TU movement was divided according to ideologies after independence and regional parties came to power in different states with each political party having its trade union wing. India’s socialist democratic policies protected both workers and TUs. The relation between employee and employers are always bound by legislations and jurisdictions but not by suo – motto, human resource approach. Public sectors were expanded and allowed the white collar workers in banks and insurance sectors to organize themselves. Power of unions grew along with the number. Political parties found the unions a strong medium. For fear of losing power, ruling parties heeded to the demands of the TUs. The situation continued till the declaration of emergency by the late Prime Minister Mrs. I.Gandhi. This period of emergency had seen the decline in power of TUs. But soon, the lower level TUs were revived to become militant. As a result, the management, especially in the public sector became weak partner in IR. Strikes and indiscipline increased with loss of working days, especially in the essential service sectors like hospitals, airways, railways and telecommunications and postal services. Productivity and performance were declined as a result of strike earning the displeasure of public making the TUs responsible for the decline. When the other countries were progressing forward in their export policies, India was lagging behind in technology and quality to compete in the global market because of the rigid laws that did not allow flexibility, which is crucial for globalization. After Liberalization: Introduction of neo-liberal policies had created fear in the minds of people that technological changes would reduce the number of labour-intensified jobs. TUs registered their disapproval. Unions in public sector rejected the offer of discussion and also threatened to boycott and opposed the implementation of various measures announced by the government. Technological changes and other measures of liberalization at the work place made the unions helpless. Management adopted soft policies towards workers and their attitude towards unions is changed. Many employers migrated to cheap labour and nonunionized settings. State’s welfare policies have been rolled up. Organized sector shrunk in size giving rise to informal economy. Even though it is difficult to say that the TUs have declined in size, bargaining power of the unions is on the decline. Number of strikes and the workers involved in strikes has been reduced. Independent/enterprise unions sprang up. National TU centres seem to be losing their control over enterprise unions. Unions who earlier opposed to technological up gradation have gradually agreed to the same in return for linking wages with productivity. All these indicate that central unions are losing ground. Labour Problem: Misconduct & Discipline Misconduct occurs when an individual violates a rule, regulation or policy of the Organisation. Generally, the steps in the procedure will be progressive, for example, an oral warning, a written warning, a final written warning, and dismissal. However, there may be instances where more serious action, including dismissal, is warranted at an earlier stage. An employee may be suspended on full pay pending the outcome of an investigation into an alleged breach of discipline. Procedures should set out clearly the different levels in the enterprise or organisation at which the various stages of the procedures will be applied. Warnings should be removed from an employee's record after a specified period and the employee advised accordingly. The operation of a good grievance and disciplinary procedure requires the maintenance of adequate records. As already stated, it

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also requires that all members of management, including supervisory personnel and all employees and their representatives be familiar with and adhere to their terms. The main aims and objectives of discipline are: • • • • • • To obtain a willing acceptance of the rules, regulations and procedures of an organisation so that organizational objectives can be attained; To develop among the employees a spirit of tolerance and a desire to make adjustments; To give and seek direction and responsibility; To create an atmosphere of respect for human personality and human relations; To increase the working efficiency morale of the employees; and To impart an element of certainty despite several differences in informal behaviour patterns and other related changes in an organisation.

GRIEVANCE A grievance is a sign of the employees’ discontent with job and its nature. It is caused due to the difference between employee expectation and management practice. Beach defines a grievance as, ‘any dissatisfaction or feeling of injustice in connection with one’s employment situation that is brought to the notice of the management. Jucius defines a grievance as ‘any discontent or dissatisfaction, whether exposed or not, whether valid or not, arising out of anything connected with the company which an employee thinks, believes or even feels to be unfair, unjust and inequitable’. Areas of Grievances Grievances resulting from working conditions • Poor physical conditions of work place. • Lack of proper tools, machines and equipments. • Frequent changes in schedules or procedures. • Rigid production standards • Improper matching of the worker with the job. • Poor relationship with the supervisor. Grievances resulting from management policy and practices Poor payment Lack of job security Inadequate benefits such as medical benefits, leave travel concession etc. • Leave facilities • Seniority • Transfer • Promotion • Lack of career planning and development • Hostility towards labour union • Defective leadership style • Communication gap Grievances resulting from alleged violations • Violation collective bargaining agreement • Violation of Central/State laws • Violation of common rules Grievances resulting from personal maladjustment • • Over ambition Excessive self-esteem • • •

GRIEVANCES HANDLING PROCEDURE Forms of In disciple/misconduct The are followings 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Unauthorized strike Dunk while at work Off the job criminal activities Use of abusive language Gambling Leaving work place without permission Smoking in unauthorized places carelessness Unexcused absence from work Unexcused or excessive lateness It is important that grievance must be handled in a systematic manner. The following steps should be taken in handling grievances: 1. 2. 3. 4. Defining, describing or expressing the nature of the grievances as clearly and fully as possible; Gathering all facts that serve to explain when, how, where, to whom and why the grievance occurred; Establishing tentative solutions or answers to the grievances; Gathering additional information to check the validity of the solutions and thus ascertain the best possible solution; Applying the solution, and Following up the case to see that it has been handled satisfactorily and the trouble has been eliminated.

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CASE Sandoz (India) Limited Grievance Settlement Procedure 1. Any aggrieved employee may approach his immediate supervisor for the redressal of any complaint regarding his work, conditions pertaining to his work, etc. The supervisor will look into the complaint, discuss with his departmental head if necessary, who will, in turn, consult the Personal Department if necessary and give a reply to the aggrieved employee within a period of 3 days to one week. If the aggrieved employee is not satisfied with the reply received from his supervisor, he may approach his departmental head, who will, in turn, investigate the matter personally and give a reply within a further period of 3 days to one week. If the employee concerned is still not satisfied, he may approach the Factory Manager either personally or in writing for the redressal of his complaint. The Factory Manager will look into the complaint and the reply given by him will be final in the matter. Such a reply in given generally within a week.

For example, if a business has 150 leavers during the year and, on average, it employed 2,000 people during the year, the labour turnover figure would be 7.5% An alternative calculation of labour turnover is known as the "Stability Index" . This illustrates the extent to which the experienced workforce is being retained and is calculated as follows: Number of employees with one or more years’ service now / Number employed one year ago x 100 Labour turnover will vary between different groups of employees and measurement is more useful if broken down by department or section or according to such factors as length of service, age or occupation. Patterns of labour turnover The highest rate of labour turnover tends to be among those who have recently joined an business. Longer-serving employees are more likely to stay, mainly because they become used to the work and the business and have an established relationship with those around them.

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If the employee still continues to be aggrieved, he may approach the Management through the Union when the Causes of labour turnover matter is taken up at the Union-Management forum for settlement on tripartite basis or by adjudication/ The Causes of Labour Turn Over can be classified with the arbitration. following 3 heads: If it is necessary for the workman to leave the work place on a call from any authority under this procedure, (1) Personal causes: Workers may leave the organisation purely previous permission from his immediate superior should on personal grounds. These may be Death, Family problems and responsibility, Personal betterment and Retirement. be obtained.

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If a grievance arises out of an order given by the (2) Avoidable causes - These include: Management, the said order shall be complied with before the workman concerned invokes the procedure (i) Dissatisfaction with jobs, laid down for redressal of grievances. (ii) Dissatisfaction with remuneration, (iii) Bad working conditions, LABOUR TURNOVER (iv) Odd hours of work, (v) Lack of incentives and promotional avenues, Labour turnover refers to the movement of employees in and out (vi) Lack of adequate recreational facilities, of a business. However, the term is commonly used to refer only (vii) Inadequate housing and medical facilities, to ‘wastage’ or the number of employees leaving. (viii) Poor worker-supervisor relationship, (ix) Poor group relations, "The ratio of the number of employees that leave a company (x) Discrimination between one worker and another, etc. through attrition, dismissal, or resignation during a period to the number of employees on payroll during the same period". (3) Unavoidable causes - Unavoidable causes may be personal or impersonal. These include: High labour turnover causes problems for business. It is costly, lowers productivity and morale and tends to get worse if not dealt (i) Personal betterment, with. (ii) Retirement, death or disablement, (iii)Domestic responsibilities, i.e., to look after old parents, (iv)Discharge due to factors like unsuitability, insubordination, Measuring labour turnover and negligence, (v) Marriage in case of women workers, etc. The simplest measure involves calculating the number of leavers Every organisation must see that leaving due to avoidable causes in a period (usually a year) as a percentage of the number is prevented. employed during the same period. This is known as the "separation rate" or "crude wastage rate" and is calculated as follows: Costs of labour turnover Number of leavers / average no employed x 100 High rates of labour turnover are expensive in terms of: - Additional recruitment costs

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- Lost production costs - Increased costs of training replacement employees - Loss of know-how and customer goodwill - Potential loss of sales (e.g. if there is high turnover amongst the sales force) - Damage that may be done to morale and productivity (an intangible cost) Benefits of labour turnover Labour turnover does not just create costs. Some level of labour turnover is important to bring new ideas, skills and enthusiasm to the labour force. A "natural" level of labour turnover can be a way in which a business can slowly reduce its workforce without having to resort to redundancies (this is often referred to as "natural wastage". HOW TO REDUCE LABOUR TURNOVER Following action may be taken to reduce labour turnover 1. Increasing pay levels 2. Providing better career opportunity 3. Extending opportunity for training 4. Introducing more effective procedure for consultation. 5. Improving recruitment, selection and training for the people require. 6. Change the working Requirements 7. Education and Training programme ABSENTEEISM Absenteeism is a habitual pattern of absence from a duty or obligation. Traditionally, absenteeism has been viewed as an indicator of poor individual performance, as well as a breach of an implicit contract between employee and employer; it was seen as a management problem, and framed in economic or quasieconomic terms. High absenteeism in the workplace may be indicative of poor morale, but absences can also be caused by workplace hazards or sick building syndrome. Causes of Absenteeism The causes of absenteeism may include: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. serious accidents and illness low morale poor working conditions boredom on the job lack of job satisfaction inadequate leadership and poor supervision personal problems (financial, marital, substance abuse, child care etc.) poor physical fitness transportation problems the existence of income protection plans (collective agreement ) benefits which continue income during periods of illness or accident.) stress workload employee discontent with the work environment

Most if not all of these causes can be prevented by taking a positive approach to things. By showing the employees that you care, you can help lower absenteeism in the work place. Measures to Control Absenteeism Absenteeism cannot be eliminated altogether. So measures should be taken to minimize the rate of absenteeism. Measures are as follows 1.Proper Hiring: It is necessary that people with rights skills and experience are selected. Every employee should as far as possible be assigned work according to capabilities, aptitude and interest. 2. Good working condition; Proper sanitation, drinking water, canteen, first aid, rest pauses and mechanization can help to reduce absenteeism by making work environment pleasant. 3. Housing and Transport facilities: Provision of housing accommodation, preferably neat the factory and bus facility will ensure regular attendance of workers. 4. Safety programmes: Adequate safety measures help to minimize industrial accidents and reduce fear of injury among employees. As a result attendance becomes improved. 5. Incentives: Special bonus, cash prizes and preference in promotion to regular employees encourage workers to be regular in their attendance. 6. Effective supervision: Supervisors can considerably reduce absenteeism by earning the confidence and commitment of workers. 7. Disciplinary Action: Suitable action should be taken against chronic absentees. Punitive action may be in the form of publishing their names in company house magazines, fines, withholding pay increatment, denial of promotion, suspension, dismissal, etc. 8. Regular leave provision: A provision should be made wherein every worker can avail a few days of leave during a year. Holidays with pay will enable a worker to attend to his private affairs. 9. Employee Counselling: Guidance and counselling help employees to eliminate bad habits like drinking and gambling. Habitual absentees can be persuaded to become regulat by impressing upon them the loss arising to them due to absenteeism. Education and training can be used to develop a sense of responsibility. 10.Proper Records: Detailed and update records of absenteeism should be maintained. Absenteeism above the predetermined level should be carefully analyzed age wise, sex wise, month wise and other bases. WORKERS’ PARTICIPATION IN MANAGEMENT According to Keith Davis, Participation refers to the mental and emotional involvement of a person in a group situation which encourages him to contribute to group goals and share the responsibility of achievement. Features of WPM: 1. Participation means mental and emotional involvement rather than mere physical presence. 2. Workers participate in management not as individuals but collectively as a group through their representatives.

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3. Workers’ participation in management may be formal or informal. In both the cases it is a system of communication and consultation whereby employees express their opinions and contribute to managerial decisions. 4. There can be 5 levels of Management Participation or WPM: a. Information participation: It ensures that employees are able to receive information and express their views pertaining to the matter of general economic importance. b. Consultative importance: Here workers are consulted on the matters of employee welfare such as work, safety and health. However, final decision always rests with the top-level management, as employees’ views are only advisory in nature. c. Associative participation: It is an extension of consultative participation as management here is under the moral obligation to accept and implement the unanimous decisions of the employees. Under this method the managers and workers jointly take decisions. d. Administrative participation: It ensures greater share of workers’ participation in discharge of managerial functions. Here, decisions already taken by the management come to employees, preferably with alternatives for administration and employees have to select the best from those for implementation. e. Decisive participation: Highest level of participation where decisions are jointly taken on the matters relating to production, welfare etc.

Functions: Works committee deals with matters of day-to-day functioning at the shop floor level. Works committees are concerned with: a. Conditions of work such as ventilation, lighting and sanitation. b. Amenities such as drinking water, canteens, dining rooms, medical and health services. c. Educational and recreational activities. d. Safety measures, accident prevention mechanisms etc. e. Works committees function actively in some organizations like Tata Steel, HLL, etc but the progress of Works Committees in many organizations has not been very satisfactory due to the following reasons: f. Lack of competence and interest on the part of workers’ representatives. g. Employees consider it below their dignity and status to sit alongside blue-collar workers. h. Lack of feedback on performance of Works Committee. i. Undue delay and problems in implementation due to advisory nature of recommendations.

3. Joint Management Councils: Under this system Joint Management Councils are constituted at the plant level. These councils were setup as early as 1958. These councils consist of equal number of representatives of the employers and employees, not exceeding 12 at the plant level. The plant should employ at least 500 workers. The council discusses various matters relating to the working of the industry. This council is entrusted with the responsibility of administering welfare measures, supervision of safety and health schemes, scheduling Objectives of WPM: of working hours, rewards for suggestions etc. 1. To establish Industrial Democracy. Wages, bonus, personal problems of the workers 2. To build the most dynamic Human Resources. are outside the scope of Joint management councils. The council 3. To satisfy the workers’ social and esteem needs. is to take up issues related to accident prevention, management of 4. To strengthen labour-management co-operation and thus canteens, water, meals, revision of work rules, absenteeism, maintain Industrial peace and harmony. indiscipline etc. the performance of Joint Management Councils 5. To promote increased productivity for the advantage of the have not been satisfactory due to the following reasons: organization, workers and the society at large. · Workers’ representatives feel dissatisfied as the council’s 6. Its psychological objective is to secure full recognition of functions are concerned with only the welfare activities. the workers. · Trade unions fear that these councils will weaken their strength as workers come under the direct influence of these councils. Strategies / Methods / Schemes / Forms of WPM: 1. Suggestion schemes: Participation of workers can take place through suggestion scheme. Under this method workers are invited and encouraged to offer suggestions for improving the working of the enterprise. A suggestion box is installed and any worker can write his suggestions and drop them in the box. Periodically all the suggestions are scrutinized by the suggestion committee or suggestion screening committee. The committee is constituted by equal representation from the management and the workers. The committee screens various suggestions received from the workers. Good suggestions are accepted for implementation and suitable awards are given to the concerned workers. Suggestion schemes encourage workers’ interest in the functioning of an enterprise. Works committee: Under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, every establishment employing 100 or more workers is required to constitute a works committee. Such a committee consists of equal number of representatives from the employer and the employees. The main purpose of this committee is to provide measures for securing and preserving amity and good relations between the employer and the employees. 4. Work directors: Under this method, one or two representatives of workers are nominated or elected to the Board of Directors. This is the full-fledged and highest form of workers’ participation in management. The basic idea behind this method is that the representation of workers at the top-level would usher Industrial Democracy, congenial employee-employer relations and safeguard the workers’ interests. The Government of India introduced this scheme in several public sector enterprises such as Hindustan Antibiotics, Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd etc. However the scheme of appointment of such a director from among the employees failed miserably and the scheme was subsequently dropped. 5. Co-partnership: Co-partnership involves employees’ participation in the share capital of a company in which they are employed. By virtue of their being shareholders, they have the right to participate in the management of the company. Shares of the company can be acquired by workers making cash payment or by way of stock options scheme. The basic objective of stock options is not to pass on control in the hands of employees but providing better financial incentives for industrial productivity. But in developed countries, WPM through co-partnership is limited.

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management they tend to give priority to political interests rather than the workers’ cause. 4. Schemes of workers’ participation have been initiated and sponsored by the Government. However, there has been a lack of interest and initiative on the part of both the trade unions and employers. 5. In India, labour laws regulate virtually all terms and conditions of employment at the workplace. Workers do not feel the urge to participate in management, having an innate feeling that they are born to serve and not to rule. 6. The focus has always been on participation at the higher levels, lower levels have never been allowed to participate much in the decision-making in the organizations. 7. The unwillingness of the employer to share powers with the workers’ representatives, the disinterest of the workers and the perfunctory attitude of the government towards participation in 7. Shop councils: Government of India on the 30th of October management act as stumbling blocks in the way of promotion of 1975 announced a new scheme in WPM. In every Industrial participative management. establishment employing 500 or more workmen, the employer shall constitute a shop council. Shop council represents each Measures for making Participation effective: department or a shop in a unit. Each shop council consists of an equal number of representatives from both employer and 1. Employer should adopt a progressive outlook. They should employees. The employers’ representatives will be nominated by consider the industry as a joint endeavour in which workers have the management and must consist of persons within the an equal say. Workers should be provided and enlightened about establishment. The workers’ representatives will be from among the benefits of their participation in the management. the workers of the department or shop concerned. The total 2. Employers and workers should agree on the objectives of number of employees may not exceed 12. the industry. They should recognize and respect the rights of each other. 3. Workers and their representatives should be provided Functions of Shop Councils: Assist management in achieving monthly production targets. education and training in the philosophy and process of Improve production and efficiency, including elimination of participative management. Workers should be made aware of the wastage of man power. benefits of participative management. Study absenteeism in the shop or department and recommend 4. There should be effective communication between workers steps to reduce it. and management and effective consultation of workers by the Suggest health, safety and welfare measures to be adopted for management in decisions that have an impact on them. smooth functioning of staff. 5. Participation should be a continuous process. To begin Look after physical conditions of working such as lighting, with, participation should start at the operating level of ventilation, noise and dust. management. Ensure proper flow of adequate two way communication 6. A mutual co-operation and commitment to participation between management and workers. must be developed by both management and labour. Modern scholars are of the mind that the old adage “a worker is a Workers’ Participation in Management in India worker, a manager is a manager; never the twain shall meet” should be replaced by “managers and workers are partners in the Workers’ participation in Management in India was progress of business”. given importance only after Independence. Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 was the first step in this direction, which recommended for the setting up of works committees. The joint management councils were established in 1950 which increased the labour participation in management. Since July 1975 the two-tier participation called shop councils at shop level and Joint councils were introduced. Workers’ participation in Management Bill, 1990 was introduced in Parliament which provided scope for upliftment of workers. Reasons for failure of Workers participation Movement in India:

6. Joint Councils: The joint councils are constituted for the whole unit, in every Industrial Unit employing 500 or more workers, there should be a Joint Council for the whole unit. Only such persons who are actually engaged in the unit shall be the members of Joint Council. A joint council shall meet at least once in a quarter. The chief executive of the unit shall be the chairperson of the joint council. The vice-chairman of the joint council will be nominated by the worker members of the council. The decisions of the Joint Council shall be based on the consensus and not on the basis of voting. In 1977 the above scheme was extended to the PSUs like commercial and service sector organizations employing 100 or more persons. The organizations include hotels, hospitals, railway and road transport, post and telegraph offices, state electricity boards.

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Employers resist the participation of workers in decisionmaking. This is because they feel that workers are not competent enough to take decisions. Workers’ representatives who participate in management have to perform the dual roles of workers’ spokesman and a comanager. Very few representatives are competent enough to assume the two incompatible roles. Generally Trade Unions’ leaders who represent workers are also active members of various political parties. While participating in

Prof. Amit Kumar

Faculty Management

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